The Political Report – May 30, 2023

Los Angeles Times poll: “Trump has the support of 44% of California’s likely Republican primary voters, while DeSantis was backed by 26%… That’s a notable reversal of their standings three months ago, when DeSantis led Trump by 8 percentage points among the state’s GOP voters.”

NBC News: “Biden’s nascent re-election campaign has invested early — before it even has a headquarters and ahead of what former President Barack Obama did in 2012 — in what veteran operatives say is an unusually robust operation to tap the star power of the Democratic Party, most of which resides outside the White House.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis told Newsmax that he’s “not a big social media guy” and “would rather watch” cable news “than be on some app,” following his disastrous presidential campaign launch on Twitter this week.

Said DeSantis: “They were anticipating a lot of people, but there were more people that tried to sign up than even what Twitter had anticipated. I was just in a room in Florida, so I didn’t really know necessarily what was going on.”

The Wrap: “The town hall, which will air on Fox News on Thursday, June 1 from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. ET, will be pre-taped from a recording earlier in the day from Clive, Iowa, distinguishing itself from CNN’s controversial live Trump town hall moderated by Kaitlan Collins earlier this month.”

NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR. The GOP firm Cygnal’s survey for the conservative John Locke Foundation finds GOP Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson edging out Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein 42-41 in a likely general election, which is comparable to what other firms have shown. The sample has Stein leading two other Republicans, former Rep. Mark Walker and Treasurer Dale Folwell, 39-37 and 39-34, respectively.

VIRGINIA STATE HOUSE. Myrna Morrissey, the estranged wife of Democratic state Sen. Joe Morrissey, filed divorce proceedings Tuesday alleging that her husband had physically and emotionally abused her, including choking her while she was pregnant.

In 2015, the senator spent three months in jail after pleading guilty to a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor on account of his relationship with Myrna Morrissey, whom he’d met two years earlier when she was 17 and had hired as an assistant at his law office.

The couple, who were married in 2016, had always maintained that they never engaged in a sexual activity until Myrna Morrissey legally became an adult, but in her divorce filings, she reversed her previous claims and now says the two commenced a “sexual relationship” when she was still 17. She also accuses Morrissey of fathering twins with another woman during one of the several affairs she says he had during their marriage.

The lawmaker responded by telling the Washington Post, “It breaks my heart that she would make these absolutely false allegations.” Morrissey, a conservative Democrat who has confounded observers and opponents for years by surviving numerous serious scandals, faces a serious primary challenge on June 20 from former Del. Lashrecse Aird. Aird and her allies have emphasized Morrissey’s opposition to abortion rights in their quest to beat him in the 13th Senate District, a constituency in the Richmond area that favored Joe Biden 62-37.

WISCONSIN U.S. SENATOR. A spokesperson for GOP Rep. Bryan Steil this week unequivocally told The Badger Project, “He is not running for the Senate.”

TEXAS U.S. SENATOR. The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation has conducted a survey using YouGov for several media clients that shows GOP Sen. Ted Cruz beating Democratic Rep. Colin Allred 47-40, which is similar to the 42-37 margin that UT Tyler found earlier this week. Neither of these polls included a matchup pitting Cruz against state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who reportedly is preparing to join the Democratic primary after the legislative session ends Monday.

CALIFORNIA U.S. SENATOR. UC Berkeley’s new survey for the Los Angeles Times offers us our first independent poll of the top-two primary since the current field took shape:

  • 2022 attorney general candidate Eric Early (R): 18
  • Rep. Katie Porter (D): 17
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D): 14
  • Someone Else: 10
  • Rep. Barbara Lee (D): 9

Lee’s campaign earlier this week released its own internal showing these four contenders performing in the same order, though it did not include an option to back an unnamed alternative. Californians who truly desire “someone else” will undoubtedly have plenty of options to choose from next year, as the uncompetitive 2022 Senate race featured 23 candidates on the ballot.

ARIZONA U.S. SENATOR. Wealthy businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson said Thursday that she wouldn’t join the Republican primary for the seat held by independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a move that makes it all the more likely that the party will nominate a far-right figure. Robson last year ran for governor with the support of termed-out incumbent Doug Ducey only to narrowly lose the primary to election denier Kari Lake, who is likely to run for the Senate later this year. The race already includes Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, who has also been an ardent ally of fringe causes.

NEW JERSEY 7TH DISTRICT. Former state Sen. Ray Lesniak tells Politico’s Daniel Han that he’s “seriously thinking about” seeking the Democratic nomination to take on Republican Rep. Tom Kean Jr. in what appears to be his first comments about this race since February. Han writes that a decision from Lesniak, who lives just outside this constituency in Democratic Rep. Donald Payne’s 8th District, would be “after the 2023 November [state] election at the latest.”

The former legislator, who would be 78 on Election Day, acknowledged, “It’s not exactly like I’ve had Democratic leadership in the state knocking on my door to run,” though he thinks he’d have two prominent national figures in his corner if he did. Lesniak tells Han that his first campaign event “would be to have Bill and Hillary Clinton have a fundraiser with me.” The former president wrote the introduction to Lesniak’s 2022 memoir, which he immediately noted when Han asked if he was certain he’d be able to get the duo.

ARIZONA 3RD DISTRICT. Ylenia Aguilar, who is a member of both the board of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District and her school district, announced Thursday she was joining the Democratic primary for this safely blue seat around Phoenix. Aguilar, who highlighted how she “grew up undocumented,” last year won a race for the five-member body that runs the 336-mile Central Arizona Project Canal, which serves 80% of the state’s residents.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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